Retaining clients is a challenge for even the most seasoned personal trainer. However great a service you provide, the fact is that clients will leave, for a variety of personal reasons. This means that you will almost always need to be on the lookout for new clients, while doing what you can to retain the ones you have.
Former Australian Institute of Fitness Coach, Hadi Kerjab lists five ways to obtain and retain personal training clients.
You need to market yourself and your brand effectively on social media. Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter to an extent, can be good platforms for reaching your audience of prospective clients.
When it comes to posting, you must find a good balance of informative, useful content and marketing. If all you do is sell yourself, people will skip your posts or unfollow you. A content-rich presence will build your credibility, making your followers more likely to respond positively to occasional marketing and special offers you post.
Of course, there are thousands of personal trainers on social media, so to make yourself stand out online – as in real life – it can be beneficial to find your niche market. By doing so, you can become the expert in a field rather than competing with the masses as a non-specific general fitness provider.
Being a good trainer is one thing, but being someone that clients feel comfortable and relaxed around is another. This common sense ‘technique’ works for both attracting and retaining clients.
Take an interest in your clients’ lives, ask them open-ended questions during their warm up and listen attentively. Relating to clients on a personal level is critical to retaining them. Most people are naturally resistant to change, especially if they have no impetus to disrupt things. If your client likes you, therefore, they are less likely to change trainers or gyms.
When it comes to gaining new clients, a friendly introduction and quick chat with a gym member costs you nothing but two minutes of your day. This simple action means that you will be the first trainer to come to mind when they decide the time is right for them to start one-on-one training.
Once you have obtained a client, your best form of marketing comes from them spreading the word about you.
Good service will always be spoken about. Whether your clients tell their family or colleagues about you, give you props on their social media when they achieve a new PB, or sing your praises while grabbing a coffee with friends, positive word of mouth is still the most effective form of new client leads for most personal trainers.
Invest in some merchandise with your branding, contact details and social media accounts on it, and give it to your family, friends and clients to wear. ‘Bring a friend for free’ passes or $5 bootcamp vouchers can motivate prospective clients to experience your awesome training with minimal outlay or commitment. From here, you use your rapport building skills to make them want to come back for more – paid – sessions with you.
As a personal trainer, your KPI’s are easily quantifiable and should be measured regularly to positively reinforce to your clients that the work they are doing with you is getting them closer to their goals.
Whether your client’s goal is weight loss, strength and hypertrophy, or aerobic fitness gains, ensure you have a system in place to regularly measure their progress. By having facts and figures to hand, you can objectively prove your client’s progress to them – which will back up the subjective improvements they are undoubtedly seeing and feeling as a result of training with you.
The AIF’s Fitness Business Essentials course is tailored to the fitness and massage industries, with a focus on the latest digital marketing practices and trends.